Nothing really new in this paper, but the figure of the different models of human evolution is interesting. I have issues with the model of Assimilation shown, however, since only Europeans are shown as assimilating pre-existing populations (Neanderthals). There have been suggestions in the past that other human populations may have interacted with their own local inhabitants, e.g., erecti in Asia.
I also have issues with Stoneking's caricature of Carleton Coon's "candelabra" model. Saying that this model is not tenable today is one thing, but ascribing racist motivations behind it is another:
The candelabra model was most prominently associated with the anthropologist Carleton Coon (1904–1981), and fell out of favour when he used it to promote racist views. According to Coon, the transformation to modern humans occurred firstin Europeans, and hence they have had the most time to evolve from their ‘primitive’ ancestry, whereas Africans were the last to transform into modern humans and therefore have had the least amount of time to shed their primitive ancestry—and in case you were wondering, Carleton Coon was of European ancestry.
There is actually no good reason to ascribe racist motivations to Coon's model of human origins. It was simply an interpretation of the evidence (such as it was in his day). Coon's suggestion that different races crossed the sapiens threshold at different times did not imply superiority and inferiority. While he almost certainly believed in inherent differences between the races (as most scientists in his day did, and many still do), his views were definitely not based on an idea of Africans as having less time to evolve.
EMBO Reports 9, S1, S46–S50 (2008)
Human origins. The molecular perspective